Grammatically Deficient

I received the following email from my very astute ex-boyfriend Gordon in reference to my previous blog on Grey Gardens (“From the wacky outfits, to the cat obsession, the furs, the non sequiturs, to the oblivion for appropriateness ….. yup, I’m still cognitive enough to realize this. I knew there was a reason that out of the 100 or more documentaries that my friend Corey has been collecting, the first one that he’d pop in for our viewing was The Beales of Grey Gardens.”):

“but, sadly, not enough to remember that the word you are looking for is
*cognizant* — cognitive is indicative of the process of thinking, in
general. whereas …

Main Entry: cog·ni·zant
Function: adjective
: knowledgeable of something especially through personal experience; also :

(Norm, I’m sure if you also read that entry, it was like fingernails on the chalkboard.)


I got these great Brazilian protest photos of Bush’s recent visit to Brazil from my friend Alec. So much of the world hates this man/administration (with the exception Israel), I don’t know why America is not demanding for the whole administration’s impeachment — they’re a disgrace to this country!

Oprah Winfrey by Sandra

I received this very cool link from Elizabeth — thanks for turning me on to your site!!

I just ran across your site and I really liked it. I
noticed that you mention Oprah on there, so I figured
I might show you this virtual dress up doll of Oprah I
recently did for my website

The doll is here and I would love it if you could
include it somewhere on your page or maybe we could at
least do a link exchange? Let me know what you think
and I hope you’re having a wonderful day.

Elizabeth Seward

The Beales of Grey Gardens

I finally finished watching Albert & David Maysles and Ian Markiewicz‘s The Beales of Grey Gardens. It’s taken me 3 months. Not a film that’s easy to watch in one sitting, and I’ve done it in about 10 different viewings. It’s hard to find words to describe this documentary, other than AMAZING!

I love both Big and Little Edie — they’re complete freaks of nature. And yes, for those of you who know me, don’t think the similiarities have been lost on me ….

From the wacky outfits, to the cat obsession, the furs, the non sequiturs, to the oblivion for appropriateness ….. yup, I’m still cognitive enough to realize this. I knew there was a reason that out of the 100 or more documentaries that my friend Corey has been collecting, the first one that he’d pop in for our viewing was The Beales of Grey Gardens.

1915: Grey Gardens, of 1975 documentary fame, now home of editor Ben Bradlee
and Sally Quinn

Little Edie at Gray Gardens in 1975

From Still Crazy After All These Years? by Michael Musto:

“The Beales are back, and their squalor is making lives brighter all over again! I’ve always worshipped the gals and their strangely powerful fashion choices and nutty but often spot-on philosophies. Having fallen off the society pages and into total disarray–coexisting with racoons, cats, and uninvited ghosts in their run-down East Hampton mansion — Edith and Little Edie instantly became my favorite cautionary tale, one that chilled my spine yet still seemed as dangerously inviting as a walk through pre-Rudolph Giuliani Times Square. If I ever had to sink that low and love everything but the house, I’d want to do it their way, with sass and charisma surviving in the wreckage, at least whenever a camera was on. After going through the biggest social and mental crash landing since the decline of the Romanovs, the Beales came off as daft but somehow zingy, messy but still gorgeous, and always amazing company. Their banter is right out of an Edward Albee play, but just like Albee’s George and Martha, there’s some genuine affection amid all the screechy name-calling and rude finger-pointing. They need each other even more than they needle each other — and years later, it turns out the discerning public still needs them and all the variations on what was obviously the world’s first superbly twisted reality show. “

Big Edie

Little Edie

Their story has been made into a musical, which I find appalling. Not that they’re not good material for one, but it just seems so ridiculous when the film is the real deal and without the forced corniness of the musical apperatus. It’s also being made into a film with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange written and directed by Michael Sucsy. Again, SAD.

Big and Little Edie

I Love Bill Maher!

I was at a dinner a couple of years ago with some artist friends and the question was posed: “If you could have dinner with ANYONE from any point in history, who would it be?” The classic responses came up, “Hitler,” “Churchhill,” “Jesus” (though I would think a girls’ night out with Mary Magdalene would be FAR more interesting — “so how was Jesus?” wink wink). But me? No, none of these were actually that appealing — though I do think Mary M. would be my #2. My Number One: Bill Maher! I would love to have dinner with Bill Maher. Now THAT would be a fun, informative, entertaining dinner. From everything I’ve read, Hitler was a pretty lame dinner companion. Churchhill — predictable. And Jesus? my guess is that he would lack humor, but not hubris.

(yes, my painting of Jesus — please notice the great wood grain!)

Bill was on Larry King this week and delivered his usual charming, entertaining, and tell-it-as-it-is interview. Here are some excerpts:

KING: We will get to things McCain and Giuliani and the like.

But first, your thoughts on the Libby verdict.

MAHER: Well, you know, it obscured the real crime for a lot of people, those who were following that to begin with, which was not that many. But, yes, I mean Libby was a guy who lied us into a war and he worked on commission. And he got his war.

But I think people forget that the reason why we haven’t gotten to the bottom of the real crime was because he was lying. Patrick Fitzgerald said that. He said he threw sand in the umpire’s face. So we never got to the bottom of the real crime, was who outed this CIA agent?

And I know the right-wing likes to say ah, well, Valerie Plame, you know.

Did she work for the CIA?


But was she really covert?

You know what?

You work for the CIA. You work for the CIA. It’s not CAA, OK?

If she wasn’t undercover, it wouldn’t have been a controversy that she was outed.

KING: Do you think it was because Bush mentioned in the State of the Union message about getting the nuclear materials?

Why did they seem to overreact to this op-ed article by a kind of obscure ambassador?

MAHER: Well, it would be the same as if I pulled a little string out of your sweater. They were afraid that it would unravel the whole thing. And it sort of did.

It’s so interesting, yes. Bush mentioned that in his State of the Union speech in January of 2003. In October of 2002, George Tenet told the president — he was about to mention that in his speech three months before in the State of the Union, and Tenet said you’ve got to take that out. We don’t think it’s true.

So something that was not true in October of 2002 became true again in January of 2003.

KING: Is “Scooter” Libby a fall guy?

MAHER: Yes, of course. Yes, because he was not the only one who was spreading this to reporters. They had some meeting and they said OK, guys — Karl Rove did it; Ari Fleischer did it; somebody at the CIA did it; and “Scooter” Libby did it. And they said look, fan out, find some gullible reporters — you know, Pulitzer Prize winners — and tell them this…


MAHER: … tell them this about Joe Wilson and his wife, who works for the CIA — whoops. Oh, I forgot. I guess I let that slip. Anyway, you tell them all what happened.

And — and some time after that, they must have had a meeting after the you know what hit the fan and said ooh, this has not gone as well as we hoped.

Who should we pin this on?

Well, Karl Rove is Bush’s guy and he’s the president. We can’t do that. Ari Fleischer is the press secretary. Oh, “Scooter” Libby. Yes. He’s the guy.

So this is why “Scooter” Libby, of course, has to have a pardon. He just knows way too much. You can’t have him ticked off.

KING: So you have to pardon him?

MAHER: Yes. I mean you heard what his wife said after the verdict came in. I can’t say it here on CNN, but she said, you know, we’re going to — we’re going to BLANK them. And I don’t think she was talking about the jury. I mean she was angry but I don’t…


MAHER: … I don’t think she’s John Gotti’s wife.

But who was she so angry at?

I think it’s at the people who threw her husband to the wolves.


KING: Do you still like Ann Coulter?

MAHER: I haven’t talked to her in so long. I don’t know if she still likes me.

KING: Really?

She used to come on your show a lot.

MAHER: A lot. Yes.

KING: Would you have her back?

MAHER: Yes, I’d have — of course I’d have her back. I mean I like her — I like what she says less and less. I never agreed with her. But she never was like out there. But this was a joke, in her defense.

KING: Right.

MAHER: I mean she was making a joke.

KING: A bad joke.

MAHER: I don’t know. You know, for that crowd, it was apparently the right joke.


MAHER: As a comedian, I know that’s the crowd it got a…

KING: The Democrats have pulled out of the Fox debate.

MAHER: Well, and this is why she has a point.

They’re pussies, OK?

Do you remember when Bill Clinton went on with Chris Wallace a few months ago?

KING: Yes.

MAHER: And he showed everybody in that Democratic Party how it should be done.

KING: Get mad.

MAHER: He took on Chris Wallace.

These guys were like oh, no, Fox News, un-nnh, no, I’m sorry, we can’t do that. We — we didn’t like the joke.

KING: Well, were they mad at a bad joke, right?

MAHER: They were mad at a — who cares what they’re mad at? Instead of withdrawing, which says to everybody in the country oh, typical Democrats. They don’t call people out, they just walk away. They don’t raise the bet.

Go on there. It’s just Chris Wallace. If you can’t stand up to Chris Wallace, can you stand up to the terrorists, let alone the Republican Party?

KING: So, a mistake, in your opinion?



CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: What a wonderful show. Listen, Larry, I want to ask both you and Bill a question. What are the soldiers paid to fight this terrible war?

KING: What is the salary? Don’t know, do you?

MAHER: It’s — I’m quite sure I couldn’t cite figures. I’m quite sure it is as cheap as you can possibly get away with. It’s virtually nothing.

KING: They don’t make good money?

MAHER: They don’t make good money.

KING: You get extra if you’re wounded, though.

MAHER: You get extra, but you don’t get very good care, do you? That’s such a scandal. And again, if you look at why that is a scandal, because of that philosophy in this administration everything can be handled better by the private sector.

They basically outsourced the care at Walter Reed to the private sector because of that idea that began with Ronald Reagan, the government isn’t the solution to our problems, government is our problem.

Well, government isn’t perfect, I agree with that. But I think what we learned from this and also, by the way, the outsourcing of so many jobs in Iraq, to people who charge five times as much for the same job and do the job the job 10 times as worse is that, yes, there are problems with government workers but they’re not nearly as bad as corporations.

Corporations only care about one thing, money, greed, corporate shareholders, the bottom line. And that leads to a lot more corruption and inefficiency than government work does.

KING: We have an e-mail Eva from Helsinki, Finland. “What do you think about George W. Bush as a private person. Would you like to go out and have a beer with him?”

MAHER: No. Well, yes. So I could get drunk and punch him in the nose. But that’s about it. As a private person. You know, yes. Because he should have been the bartender at a 19th hole at a golf club. That was his calling in life. If his name had been George Bushler, that would be what he was doing. That’s what he’s capable of.

It’s just because he was the son of a president is why he was able to rise to the heights he was able to rise to. So I’m sure he’s OK as a guy to have a drink with.

Whose Choice Is It Anyway?
By Angela Bonavoglia (Ms. Magazine March/April 1991)

Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, we had the extraordinary opportunity of watching our legislators go about weighing the facts and the ethics of war. There was passionate reasoning on both sides: on the one hand, to stop a ruthless aggressor, liberate Kuwait, preserve the American way of life; on the other, a plea to wait to further negotiate, to do everything possible to prevent the maiming, murder, and shipping home of young men and women in body bags. In the end, it was decided by a majority that death on a grand scale was justified.

We have gone to war. Through all of this debate, I have been struck by the ease, the entitlement, the pride, and the confidence with which men approach the realms of life where they feel they have the right and responsibility to make the ethical choices of who will live and who will die. And I have been equally struck by the arrogance in the position that the one life-and-death decision that women have taken control of making-that is, ending a pregnancy-has been judged time and again to be absolutely wrong. Though we have just marked 18 years of legal abortion in this country and our mortality rate here is low, the World Health Organization estimates that 200,000 women die annually from botched illegal abortions because those in power will not give women the safe medical care they need to make that one ethical choice. And in this country, legislators continue to make it harder for women-particularly those young and poor-to get abortions.

Watching this war unfold, watching primarily male lawmakers consider protecting a territory worlds away from invasion by a foreign aggressor, one can only wonder how they can then turn to a woman and tell her that she has no right to make a choice about the potential life that is developing inside her. It is equally vexing to hear that we “waited five months” for sanctions to work from those same men who think nothing of asking a woman to let an unwelcome potential life occupy her womb for nine months, accepting the physical and emotional costs and the risks attendant upon childbirth. Yet the ultimate irony may have been President Bush’s declaration of January 20, four days after the bombing began, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day-no reference to the civilians and soldiers who were dying in the Gulf but an encouragement to the anti-choice forces to press on.

In interviewing people for The Choices We Made (Random House, 1991) on their personal experiences with abortion, I found a surprising thing. Though the highly polarized war over abortion has assumed that pro-choice women who have abortions do so with no awareness of a “life,” in truth, opinions vary. Some, like Whoopi Goldberg, who thinks of the embryo as “stuff coming together,” do not believe there is life in the first few weeks, but others do. Says journalist Linda Ellerbee: “Life in a certain sense probably does begin at conception,” perhaps even right before–”the properties of life are in the sperm and they’re in the womb.” But for such women, that is not the issue. “Abortion might be killing a life,” says actress Margot Kidder, who was douched with Lysol and near death from an illegal abortion at the age of 18. “If there is a sin, it is the sin that we adults perpetrate on the children of the earth who truly are innocent and defenseless by bringing those children into the world when they will not be cared for.” Byllye Avery of the National Black Women’s Health Project believes that abortion does take a potential life: “Women know full well what they’re doing-a potential life is not as important as an actual life, and sometimes women have to make that choice.” The truth is that men have always felt justified in making life-and-death choices, particularly in war, choosing whether to sacrifice already born, young, healthy, fully developed human beings to a cause. To deprive women of making the choice between themselves and a potential life reveals the argument for what it is really about-control. Proposed constitutional amendments to the contrary, our society does not place an absolute value on human life. Rather, that value is relative-unless, apparently, the life is potential and inside the body of a woman. Then, many believe, there is suddenly no room for choice.


NEW YORK (March 7) – Captain America has undertaken his last mission – at least for now. The venerable superhero is killed in the issue of his namesake comic that hit stands Wednesday, the Daily News reported.

On the new edition’s pages, a sniper shoots down the shield-wielding hero as he leaves a courthouse, according to the newspaper.

It ends a long run for the stars-and-stripes-wearing character, created in 1941 to incarnate patriotic feeling during World War II. Over the years, an estimated 210 million copies of “Captain America” comic books, published by New York-based Marvel Entertainment Inc., have been sold in a total of 75 countries.

But resurrections are not unknown in the world of comics, and Marvel Entertainment editor in chief Joe Quesada said a Captain America comeback wasn’t impossible.

Still, the character’s death came as a blow to co-creator Joe Simon.

“We really need him now,” said Simon, 93, who worked with artist Jack Kirby to devise Captain America as a foe for Adolf Hitler.

According to the comic, the superhero was spawned when a scrawny arts student named Steve Rogers, ineligible for the army because of his poor health but eager to serve his country, agreed to a “Super Soldier Serum” injection. The substance made him a paragon of physical perfection, armed only with his shield, his strength, his smarts and a command of martial arts.

In the comic-book universe, death is not always final. But even if Captain America turns out to have met his end in print, he may not disappear entirely: Marvel has said it is developing a Captain America movie.

Information from: Daily News,





My housemate Ayano just returned from Tokyo and she brought back a beautiful book of Shunga from the Edo period. Gorgeous!!

For those unfamiliar with Shunga, this is from Wikipedia:

It is thought that shunga were initially inspired by illustrations in Chinese medical manuals, a process which had its origins in the Muromachi era (1336 to 1573). Chou Fang, the great T’ang Dynasty Chinese erotic painter, is thought to also have been influential. He, like many erotic artists of his time and place, tended to exaggerate the size of the genital organs, a common shunga topos.

The style was popular through the Edo period (1603 to 1867) despite occasional governmental attempts to suppress them, the first of which was a ban on erotic books known as kōshokubon (好色本) issued by the Tokugawa shogunate in Kyōhō 7 (1722). Shunga finally succumbed to the introduction of erotic photographs at the beginning of the Meiji era (18681912).


Shunga were produced between the sixteenth century and the nineteenth century by ukiyo-e artists, since they sold more easily and at a higher price than their ordinary work. Shunga prints were produced and sold either as single sheets or – more frequently – in book form, called enpon. Shunga was also produced in hand scroll format, called kakemono-e (掛け物絵). This format was also popular, though more expensive as the scrolls had to be individually painted.

The quality of shunga art varies, and few ukiyo-e painters remained aloof from the genre. Experienced artists found it to their advantage to concentrate on their production. This led to the appearance of shunga by first rate artists. Ukiyo-e artists owed a stable livelihood to such customs, and it appears that producing a piece of shunga for a high-ranking client brought them enough money to live on for about six months.

Most ukiyo-e shunga prints were produced in Edo. Rarely, they were produced in Osaka or Kyoto. The coloration of those prints is richer, and matte, in comparison with Edo works. This effect came from the use of gofun, powdered white clamshell, which was mixed into pigments used in multicolored prints in Osaka and Kyoto.


Shunga artists rarely signed their works, even though the genre was generally accepted and the art met the same standards required of more conventional styles. This was in order to eliminate any danger of governmental prosecution, or any risk of “losing face” and thus endangering the other aspects of an artist’s career.

Brides of daimyo and hatamoto often brought a waraie (erotic picture) series of twelve pictures together with their wedding furniture. Also, daimyo and hatamoto were accustomed to place a roll of shunga in the helmet box when they commissioned a suit of armor. In these cases, shunga reflected people’s wishes for the eternal happiness of princes and princesses.

Besides its traditional use, shunga served as sexual guidance for the sons and daughters of wealthy families (usually named Zeng). (after Engyo Mitamura, Makurae for Festivities)


March/April 1991
Re-Issue 2003, 2007

Women For Peace was an on-campus organization at the University of Oregon (Eugene) that I co-founded with a group of women in 1991 in response to the invasion of Iraq. We published newsletters every two-months. March/April 2007 marks 16 years after the first U.S. invasion of Iraq under George H.W. Bush. March 2007 is also the 4th anniversary of the second U.S. invasion of Iraq under George W. Bush.

I will be re-publishing the articles from the March/April 1991 issue over the next two months and including articles of relevance from now that provide greater insight to these writings.

Women For Peace, 1991
We are a non-profit organization for women concerned with changing the state of our world. We first formed as a group this December in response to U.S. involvment in the Middle East — questioning what the real agendas were. Now that the war has been termed “over,” we feel more than ever that changes must take place within our government.

At this point our Planet is on the verge of overall cultural and environmental destruction and is only going to get worse without mass action. We feel that we must educate ourselves and others in the fight against racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia in order to change hateful attitudes which only lead to pain and destruction: Our newsletter is a compilation of information from different sources that we feel is useful and educational. Please pass this information on to others and Let’s change this world into a peaceful, respectful, and balanced home.

Our meetings are Sundays at 4:00 PM in the Erb Memorial Union (EMU) on the University of Oregon campus. Look on the daily schedule at the EMU for the exact room that wer are meeting in. We are an all-women organization. We have formed as a support group for women, whose voices have been ignored for too long; however, this is not a separtist statement. Although our meetings are only open to women, everyone is welcome to our public events. Megan Wilson, Women For Peace

The Human Face of “Collateral Damage”

During the past 20 years, Iraqi women have entered almost every profession, including the army. In 1980, 37 percent of oil project designers working for the Ministry of Oil and 30 percent of construction supervisors were women. By 1982, women constituted 46 percent of teachers, 29 percent of doctors, 46 percent of dencists,70 percent of pharmacists, 15 percent of accountants, 14 percent of factory workers, and 4 percent of senior management positions.

Is this the product of a feminist movement? Only in part. Modern Iraq is a large, oil-rich country with a relatively small population (17 11illion). Per capita income is approximately $2,298. To solve a shortage of manpower, Iraq chose to train women rather than import huge numbers of foreign workers, as did Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait.

Ironically, the regime’s attitude toward dissent helped. Iraq’s secular government, modeled on alleged socialist principles, implemented measures at which regimes more influenced by religious opposition would have talked, including stressing education as “a matter of the elmentary rights for women.” Moral: secular totalitarianism, however hideous, is preferable to religious totalitarianism.)

The General Federation of Iraqi Women was founded in 1969 by Nawal Hilmi, Manal Younis, and Ranzia Al-Khairou. It began as one office in Baghdad. Now it incorporates five regional subdivisions divided into 21 branches, with smaller sub-units in each province. More than 3OO,OOO Iraqi women now belong to the federation.

One of the challenges the federation faces is how to prepare women for the return of thousands of Iraqi prisoners of war (from Iran), how to help the wives of men who have suffered psychological and emotional trauma, and how to reintegrate the men into normal life.

The wives of “martyrs” also receive attention. In addition to an acre or more of land, cash stipends, scholarships for the children, and a car, the federation offers driving lessons as well as adult education classes. The purpose is to train widows in marketable skills that help them become self-sufficient. The federation also works at changing traditional Iraqi attitudes about women: the covers of children’s books no longer reinforce sex-role stereotypes, and housekeeping and cooking classes are now taught to both boys and girls. Another priority is health education. Federation members spend several months in rural villages in teams of two, identifying women with leadership skills and training them to teach basic hygiene, nutrition, and health care. In an attempt to help women balance careers and families, the federation has also established nurseries and day-care centers with minimal costs throughout the country.

-Andrea Lorenz
MARCH/APRJL 1991 MS Magazine

Welcome Home Dad!!!
Love You!

I think this is the last time we were all together at home!!
This was the first time that John had visited Montana with
me. He’d always teased me that the only thing to do in
Montana was fly fishing — and sure enough, the very first
thing we did …